Supervisors deny land change
Mar 01, 2013 | 2788 views | 11 11 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Feb. 26, denied one request for a site on the edge of Mountain House and tabled another similar request.

The decision followed two days of public hearings to review rezoning proposals for dozens of county parcels as part of the general plan revision process.

Supervisors voted 4-1 to deny a rezoning request by Anthony F. Souza to rezone 179.76 acres east of Mountain House between Bethany and Byron roads from agriculture to industrial.

It’s unclear if Souza owns the property or is representing a land owner.

The only vote in favor of the change was from 5th District Supervisor Bob Elliott.

Elliott said in a telephone interview Wednesday, Feb. 27, he believes economic growth near Mountain House would benefit the community.

“I want Mountain House to be successful, so what’s the best way to do that?” he said. “Economic activity in one area encourages, and is complementary, to economic activity to the surrounding area — that’s the philosophy I take on this. It’s like the old saying, ‘a rising tide raises all ships.’”

But Mountain House Community Services District Director Jim Lamb said in a telephone interview Wednesday that any changes to the area would contradict the current county general plan for Mountain House, which includes a greenbelt zoned for agricultural land around the community.

“Give our project (Mountain House) a chance to succeed,” Lamb said. “Then once it’s developed, and then you know it’s viable and sustainable, then entertain additional development.”

Lamb said he was disappointed Elliott voted in favor of rezoning that seemed to conflict with the Mountain House Master Plan, the document that spells out how Mountain House will develop over time.

“Don’t disregard the master plan,” Lamb said. “We’re following it, and we expect the county to do it, too.”

Community Services District President Celeste Farron called the supervisors’ denial vote a “good day for Mountain House.”

A separate motion to rezone seven parcels of land at the corner of Mountain House Parkway and Interstate 205 that was set aside for a future meeting.

Property representatives Lucia Albers, A. Michael Souza and Mario Jaques have asked the supervisors to rezone 188.11 acres from agriculture to uses that would include commercial, industrial and mixed-use.

Mountain House Development Manager Morgan Groover said the county definition for mixed use is a zoning designed for an activity center with a mix of compatible uses. He said this would be similar to a downtown shopping area with residential.

According to the board of supervisors’ clerk, Mimi Duzenski, the three property representatives were unable to attend either of the hearings Feb. 19 and 26, which prompted supervisors to postpone the hearing, which as of Wednesday had not been scheduled.

Farron and Lamb feel optimistic that the supervisors will deny the request.

Elliott said he wouldn’t cast his vote in advance, but noted that even if the supervisors did approve the rezoning, it wouldn’t mean developers would break ground immediately.

However, Elliott did say his “philosophy on the matter” was not likely to change.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or

At a glance

• WHAT: San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors meeting

• WHEN: 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26

• WHERE: San Joaquin County administration building, 44 N. San Joaquin St.

• DETAILS: Chairman Ken Vogel, Vice Chairman Bob Elliott, supervisors Steve Bestolarides, Larry Rhustaller and Carlos Villapudua were all present.
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March 05, 2013
To quote Depp Throat (of Watergate fame, not the other one) "just follow the money ...."
March 04, 2013
Houston is actually a good example of poor zoning laws. In some areas they didn't zone correctly or care enough sometimes and you have residential with a huge sky scrapper next to it all alone. Looks ridiculous, but hey, this is America right?
March 04, 2013
Hmm, I'm actually conservative Sputty, but thanks for making us conservatives look stupid. Again you missed my point - cities need to be planned and zoning laws need to be established for the betterment of the entire city. What does your service in the Navy have to do with this? Talk about random. Did you throw that in there because you thought it gave you more street cred when you shout THIS IS AMERICA? Should I queue the fireworks and the national anthem too? I'm a patriot and love my country. This has nothing to do with 'freedom' or 'America'. What it does have to do with is simply laws that 'We the people' have put in place for our common best interests. Let's stop blowing our bugle the wrong direction now please. Thanks.
March 04, 2013
Sneaky, Here's what I hope happens one day so we can see if your view changes. You finally find your piece of land you openly have been wishing for, no neighbors you can see, room to ride dirt bikes, etc. If smart, before purchasing your dream location you'll check the zoning of the surrounding area and find it's open space - great for you, yippie.

After a year or two in paradise the owner of the surrounding land uses your belief and convinces whoever, they should be able to do whatever the heck they want with their land, damn those pesky and invasive communist zoning laws.

Presto, approval is granted and next thing you know you're surrounded by high density housing with windows where people can look into your property, an amusement park with lots of noise, and maybe an airport within ear shot so you and your family can listen to the power of those jet engines during take off & landing. Oops, paradise lost.

Can't happen? Sure it can if we all shared your current belief. Even in a free society certain regulations are needed, zoning laws are one of them.

March 03, 2013
This whole thing is offensive. It seems more like an article that would need to be written in some communist stink-hole than in America. If someone owns a chunk of land they should be free to do with it as they wish. Its theirs, not property of the state. Zoning laws have no place in a supposedly free society.

March 04, 2013
You really don't get why zoning laws are in place do you? You should do some more research before making a comment like this one and making yourself look silly. But hey, what the heck, this is America right? Banks should be free to lend to whoever they want and deny whoever they want because it's their money right? Forget lending to minorities right (sarcasm implied)? After all, it is their money they're lending. Do you understand why regulations and laws are in place now?
March 04, 2013
Sputty, congrats - you win the award for best misunderstanding of my point. The point is, zoning laws serve an important purpose as do regulations. Sorry if my example was too extreme for you. My point is for Sneaky and for you to look into zoning laws and see why they are there. Trust me, it's not just for the fun of it, but I don't want to spoil the ending for you. Where did you read into what I was saying about ending all laws and regulations? Interesting. Your last line just makes you look ignorant.
March 01, 2013
Great support for the Mountain House Community Board of directors from 5th district supervisor Bob Elliott. As I recall Mountain House directors Celeste Farron and Bernice Tingle supported Bob Elliot in his campaign. I even got a flyer saying democratic leaders like Bernice Tingle support Bob Elliott. Good lesson for Farron and Tingle.

Although the other four supervisors voted against the proposal Elliott voted for it how come? Maybe it was the thousands of dollars in campaign contributions Anthony Sousa threw Elliott's way in the election. Elliott
March 01, 2013
Great post jarbuckle. You're exactly right. It's everything that's wrong with our political process today. People with money get to 'buy' future votes and favors from politicians. Elliot said ‘a rising tide raises all ships.’ - I'd like to add - and sinks the ones that aren't finished being built yet. Come on Bob Elliot, we voted for you. Do us right. Why are you the only one going against the rest of the supervisors? Interesting they 'tabled' the vote on the most lucrative piece of land. I say if the developers didn't bother to show, don't bother to vote for them. Vote no on the project.

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